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Abstract

Trust is a key element in the personal, political and social domains. The chapter will seek to determine what the effect of the recent pandemic has been on trust within British higher education (HE), and what the implications may be for HE and for British society. COVID-19 has caused crisis within higher education and has forced many people into the experience of anxiety and mistrust. Initially the essay defines various types of trust and suggests how they may apply to higher education. It examines the personal impact of COVID-19 on students and staff, discussing perceptions of online and face-to-face teaching, value for money and mental health. Consideration is also given to how the pandemic is affecting efforts to achieve diversity and equality of opportunity. Knowledge has to some extent been rendered unfashionable by political populism, but when COVID-19 urgently needed vaccines, science was the hero of the hour. However, human suffering during the pandemic has highlighted the need to bridge the divide between the sciences and the humanities, though this is currently somewhat neglected in the UK. Trust is at a low ebb within the British body politic, and lack of trust is dysfunctional. This is an issue that will remain important even when “fighting” COVID-19 becomes less urgent due to medical progress. The example of some other countries such as Finland provides ideas and inspiration.

In: Transformation Fast and Slow
In: Positioning Higher Education Institutions
In: Positioning Higher Education Institutions
In: Positioning Higher Education Institutions
In: Positioning Higher Education Institutions
Can the Challenges be Reconciled?
Diversity and excellence in Higher Education seem to be conflicting concepts. Nevertheless, they are dynamic and closely intertwined—indeed they may even require each other. The book brings together insights from ten different countries to analyse these multi-facetted phenomena and discuss how they may be reconciled within higher education. To set the overall context, it critically addresses markets and managerialism, whilst foregrounding the dangers of certain behavior that European countries are currently, though often unwisely, copying from the U. S.
In a mass Higher Education system, the social basis of the student body diversifies—a fact that creates new challenges for planners and managers. The authors’study of diversity concentrates particularly upon issues of equity and justice for students, addressing their life cycle transitions from school to higher education, degree completion, postgraduate education and employability. It also considers challenges posed by diversification at the institutional level, encompassing changes in management, leadership, governance and performance assessment. It addresses attempts to achieve excellence by selectivity, thereby contributing to the stratification of university systems; and it explores attempts to achieve excellence by merging smaller institutions to form larger entities. The book’s overall conclusion is that diversity and excellence are not necessarily enemies but relatives who cannot escape the bond between them.
Higher education is of growing public and political importance for society and the economy. Globalisation is transforming it from a local and national concern into one of international significance. In order to fulfil societal, governmental and business sector needs, many universities are aiming to (re-)position themselves. The book initially considers their “compass”. They aspire to transformational planning, mission and strategy in which social justice is important, people are not treated as mere means to an end, and traditional moral positions are respected. This transformational urge is sometimes vitiated by blunt demands of new public management that overlook universities’ potential for serving the public good. The volume then addresses universities’success in meeting their targets. Often the challenge in evaluation is the need to reconcile tensions, for example between structure and pastoral care of students; institutional competition and collaboration; roles of academics and administrators; performance-based funding versus increased differentiation. Measurement is supposed to provide discipline, align institutional and state policy, and provide a vital impetus for change. Yet many of these measurement instruments are not fully fit for purpose. They do not take sufficient account of institutional missions, either of “old” or of specialist universities; and sophisticated measurement of the student experience requires massive resources. Change and positioning have become increasingly key elements of a complex but heterogeneous sector requiring new services and upgraded instruments.
In: Diversity and Excellence in Higher Education
In: Diversity and Excellence in Higher Education
The world is changing at an extremely rapid pace, and with this our society, environment, economy and labour market. These multitudinous changes require innovation at different levels, not least from Higher Education which is confronted with increased demands to make its contribution and benefit to society more tangible, visible and sustainable. This book addresses such demands. It represents a rich selection of international contributions from academics, researchers, policymakers and practitioners, and a rich diversity of topics under the umbrella of sustainability. The book discusses how higher education needs to renew itself to maintain its core values while responding in a sustainable way to multiple crises, local demands and global needs, threats and opportunities.

Contributors are: Iyad Abualrub, Avril Margaret Brandon, Bruno Broucker, Lejo Buning, Cynthia Cogswell, Vanessa Cui, Kurt De Wit, Frans de Vijlder, Mervi Friman, Martina Gaisch, Anne Gannon, Caroline Hetherington, Ester Höhle, René Krempkow, Anne Laakso, Lotta Linko, Aleksandra Lis, Göran Melin, Clare Milsom, Matt O’Leary, Jason Pina, Rómulo Pinheiro, Ilana Pressick, Rosalind Pritchard, Victoria Rammer, Bairbre Redmond, Stephanie Reynolds, Lee Roberts, Radosław Rybkowski, Peter Schuur, Wafa Singh, Odd Rune Stalheim, Nathalie Turville and Nick White.